View Full Version : Ba-Gua Usage

03-23-2001, 10:41 PM
In the last post by Razak, Kevin Brought into light how he uses Ba-Gua. This is the fundamental
mastery. To use the techniques according to who you are.

My question is, (once again) How do you fight?
You don't have to be a master to use this.
even a beginner of say 1yr and some kind of Fighting experiance Should be able to use the fundamental techniques of rise, Fall, Drill, and overturn with minimul Skill.

Me, I like the neck, and I use Snaking and wraping
to achive this. I also like Kicking. Not like the conventional kicks seen. The years of training
have developed a type of contortionate effect
with my legs, so i can bend them in ways most are not use to. and they work perfectly right up on opponets. I also favor the lotus palm for mid-body
and upper leg attacks. I use Eagle Claw as part of my Qinna while wrapping. As for my over all
technique Monkey is the animal of our particular
Yin Fu branch and givin i use use lower basin
techniques, I come from low to high with the piercing palm.

Oh, There's more, but that's a general summery.

Think about it. consider how you fight. and then
answer how do you fight?


Practice doesn't make perfect.
Perfect practice makes perfect!

03-24-2001, 12:56 AM
Like Maoshan I'm a head and neck guy my self, I use lots of wrapping up and unwrapping energies(Receptive) found in the Jiulong Earth Palm (pure yin) to coil in and around and control them at the spine and skull, this also lets me stick to them and wear out their energy by attacking with fast repeating palm and elbow and knee strikes and them trying to shake me off(Fire/clinging energy).While I am a bigger sized guy the circle walking really pays off so I can either avoid or even just absorb someone's attack to my body and suck them in and slip into an angle and drive or toss them to the ground hard by wedging and projecting my body into their joints.
I like the piercing and slicing palm energies of the Jiulong method Heaven and Wind palms and I was lucky enough to meet somebody that showed me the monkey from Sun Lu Tang's animal palms looks a lot like what Maoshan lotus palm shape might be and is great for torso and chest cavity strikes, head butts, fast blocking/striking hands and head and neck cranks with the "Money offers the peach" series of techniques also very similar to the "Dragon flies around the Moon" head and neck cranks found in the Jiulong method using Heaven and Lake palm energies.
For kicking I use a 72 leg technique form and basicaly low to middle level stamping anf knee methods into their feet, knees and hip socket or even in the base of their Kua.

03-24-2001, 01:25 AM
Kevin I am a BIIGGGG fan of monkey offers the fruit too. Lately I am hooked on elbows. Any kind of elbows. Elbows to the back and underneath the arms. Thumping, piercing, breaking you name it. They just seem to be coming out all over in my last few fights. I use alot of low line shin kicks and kicks behind the calves to trip. My fighting always seems to change depending on what I am working on. Using a lot of neck throws lately. One of my favorite things to do is scoop the leg and throw/control the hip. Too much fun. What about the rest of you guys?

03-24-2001, 02:46 AM
In the few 'real' confrontations I've had, I have only used joint locks and throws. It's not that I do not like striking. In fact I am dying to know what it's like to hit full force. I used joint manipulation and throws for a few reasons. One, I have not been in a situation where my life was threatened. I try to be wise about how much ability I use. I don't want to severely hurt someone just for some nonsense. Two, the laws are out of control! I can get sued and lose for hitting. Ridiculous. And three, I think it's necessary to be aware of the fact that there are numerous diseases that one can contract, especially fighting.
I know this sounds lame but until my life is in danger, I'm going to keep myself safe and out of jail.


Water Dragon
03-24-2001, 04:38 AM
Like Kevin, I also enjoy head.

OK, I know. Bad joke. I'll just crawl back to my corner. :D

Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics

03-24-2001, 08:37 AM
I too like to use Chinna, Like Kevin said, Once you begin to stick to your opponent it's the best way to control him and the situation. weather you
strike, brake, or throw it's up to you. And i agree with you about life threating situations.
I too have not had to use my full technique in that way(Kill or be killed). But i do belive in getting the point across. Ofcourse because we do the internal we have to be extra careful.
But I look at it like this,
I bother no one, If you bring me a problem, that means you where looking for a problem, and i dispise people who indulge in causing physical
distress as a pastime. so if i brake a few things
it's alright. i might have made him think the next time these thoughts cross his mind.

But anyway, good responce guys. any more?
Come on, too many people in this forum have things to say about Ba-Gua. To responed doesn't require deep experiance. just enough to make you think about how to use this art we have grown to love. Express your self.


03-24-2001, 08:38 AM
I have developed a fondness for the Hsing I technique "Beng Quan". Even though I am a rather large individual (comparatively), I still like to get in real real close, and deliver one of these from a few inches. :)
Short strikes from a grappling distance are what I am working on developing now.
Also, I am a big believer in getting in back of someone and having a bunch of open targets to apply beng quan to.

If all else fails, I have a Glock 40 that is pretty impressive in its results.


yi beng, kan xue

03-24-2001, 08:40 AM
I have developed a fondness for the Hsing I technique "Beng Quan". Even though I am a rather large individual (comparatively), I still like to get in real real close, and deliver one of these from a few inches. :)
Short strikes from a grappling distance are what I am working on developing now.
Also, I am a big believer in getting in back of someone and having a bunch of open targets to apply beng quan to.

If all else fails, I have a Glock 40 that is pretty impressive in its results. :cool:


yi beng, kan xue

03-24-2001, 08:46 PM
I like to fight with an opponent using the following...I do palm changes to get in close so I can feel them ( I don't use the classical method nothing flashy..I just need to get in) when I touch I do a beng then a drill at the face then beng again and finally a drill. This is assuming I have the time to get the technique off..

I use ba gua footwork to evade if I have to move our the way ..

Razak da mind boxer aka beng to the chest.

03-27-2001, 08:50 PM
I don't like to waste any time, so I like to attack the first thing that comes at me. If an arm comes at me I like to either stike it or apply chin na to it. Then if I need to go further, I'll get in side and apply a throw or strike, it's what ever I feel like doing at that point.


03-28-2001, 09:28 AM
I am no Baguazhang practitioner, but seeing the neck taking, I think I must make a reply too. I am a Yang style Taijiquan practitioner. One of my favorite takedowns is taking the chin or the throat or the neck or the shoulder and use split energy (Liejin) to achieve the takedown result. In my field experience, this kind of takedown has been used very frequently by me.

I also like using kicks, but I don't like kicking high. I like kicking one's inner thigh. And for Qinna, I never use Qinna when a fight starts, and I never use Qinna when dealing with more than one person. I only use it when fighting with one person, and Qinna is applied when I have gained control.

Wish for peace

Sam Wiley
03-28-2001, 04:59 PM
Personally, I'm a headhunter first and foremost, a close second favorite target is the elbow, and the third would be the knee.

My favorite Bagua palm is the Fire palm. I like to neutralize an attack with something like Rollback, and then seek and destroy.

I like using Split for the elbow, which pretty much corresponds to Close the Door and Push the Moon from Bagua, except that Bagua always adds a twist. I like cranking it on the Bagua way, it's pretty much undefeatable once it's on.

I also like to use the Thunder palm (P'eng) to block or redirect strikes, and use chopping kicks to the knees.

By the way, those kicks work very well in conjunction with Rollback. Just use P'eng to block, latch on with the hands, and Rollback while kicking with a foot.

"I put forth my power and he was broken.
I withdrew my power and he was ground into fine dust."
-Aleister Crowley, The Vision and the Voice

03-30-2001, 07:44 AM
would it be unheard of to, for example's sake, lead a forward attack (with opponants left side leading) left with a lefthand lake shape and (steping forward and right/kinda pigeon toed/twisting left) use a righthand thunder shape to smack the back of their head/neck.... ..my main question is about using the thunder shape like that, i've usually accociated it with "blocking". (i mainly practice wing chun right now)

also, what are some other uses for the thunder palm...?

03-30-2001, 07:57 AM
anyone go to concerts and use something like the thunder palm shape to keep people at bay (down in gen adm where it's rowdy)? went to one ...last week?...(a perfect circle) and noticed that it worked pretty good. through my arms and around my back i could emit a fair amount of pressure for a long time...a friend of mine was doing the same thing.

03-30-2001, 05:04 PM
Thunder palm is great for backhands and forearm smashs, especially using wrapping jing from the waist. I don't think of it as a block so much as a grind. In this way, it's like a foil or epee thrusting forward with a tiny circular component that deflects the other's sword - only the grinding in thunder palm is much more violent. You can "grinding block" into someones joints for good effect. By the same principle, if you can out grind your opponent, you can occupy his space with that block and find offense in defense (with a snapping backfist or palmslap or piercing palm for example). Even if you can't outgrind the other, by switching from thunder to heaven palm just after the block, you can almost always grab their wrist. This especially works if you yielded and redirected properly, most people will want to withdraw their arm to reclaim their center, which will bring them right into your grab. Thunder palm can be hinged very easily into an elbow strike if the grinding redirection is more tight/vertical/close range. "Unhinging" such an elbow strike is another time when you can usually score a clean grab; or a whipping backhand if their arm has moved. Thunder palm is also an embracing palm, and can hold an object in the crook of the elbow or shoulder as well as the palm. Various elbow brakes are possible with this method, and it is also good for grabbing shoulders from behind to uproot. The thunder palm can also be used to attack the armpit, such as in holding the moon to the breast. If your opponent is going for a grab, or slightly off balance, turning to the side and putting an extended thunder palm between you and him while advancing is a remarkably quick way to occupy space and forcing your opponent to do something silly in reaction. (Although this is probably only safe for those of us with freakishly long arms) If you have been grabbed, thunder palm is probably the best active way of escaping (earth palm usually works passively if you can go yin just as you're grabbed and simply slide out). In bagua there is alot of practice using thunder palm like this. For example, using a high raised thunder palm when you have been grabbed, followed by an outside change to attack the ribs. Or raising a more curved thunder palm (as if you're going to scratch your hairline - elbow stuck out though) while turning a little and stepping back to the appropriate corner... if your opponent doesn't have the good sense to simply let go, he'll be jerked around to the most awkward angle. There are many uses like this to escape being grabbed with thunder palm.

I hope I've given you some ideas for other uses of the thunder palm.

03-31-2001, 07:55 AM

Since I only study bagua in passing and don't have a formal teacher, I'll take your word for all that you've said (with a grain of salt). I appreciate the thorough response, considering i'm not always at my most serious.

From what you said about hooking a shoulder, I'll assume nothing about a slap to the back of the head violates any wack azz baguazhang principle I'm not aware of. I noticed the same thing about gaining space in a more general way than, say, using a fire palm would do. Of course you can't grab a handful of skin if you're using thunder to bounce away.

Any different ideas about the thunder palm? I hear there is a whole form dedicated to this, and probably variations, too. How does the dragon corrospond to thunder?

03-31-2001, 10:12 AM
The only thing about smacking the back of the head (I'm picturing you're doing it with the palm of the hand) is that it doesn't seem "most appropriate" for the kind of energy that the thunder palm has. Of course, my understanding is very limited; I'm just happy to offer my thoughts on the issue (it's rare when actual technical discussion comes up here) - and I'm sure people with more experience will correct me.

Sam Wiley
04-01-2001, 11:53 PM
By "lake" do you mean the one that rolls and drills forward (and also corresponds to the clouds), or do you mean the one that is like the thunder palm, only angled downward (the water palm)?

The way I took your term was the one that rolls and drills forward. If that is the case, I would say no, you should not do that, but for different reasons. And those reasons have to do with the Lake palm.

The left Lake/Cloud palm to a left punch will land his punch right on your mouth, and you will not have the opportunity to do anything else. If you are using this one, you might want to roll the palm onto the inside of his arm, then turn it into a Water palm to pull his arm down and to your left, and then you can get in to use the Thunder palm. If you are going to hit him in the back of the head with it, you should strike to the soft spots just below the skull on either side of the spine, which is Gallbladder 20. He will drop right to the ground. However, I think Fire palm would be more suited to soething like this, though Thunder is perfectly acceptable if you have conditioned the back of your hand and wrist to take hitting the bone (just in case you miss).

On the other hand, if you are talking about the Water palm, using it to block a low left punch, take it over to your left, and use Thunder to the back of the head, that's perfectly workable, though I would still use Fire for the final strike, myself.

Of course, you could always use a left Thunder to block a left punch to your face at the inside elbow, then drive it down and pull it to your left, using Water, and then use Thunder or Fire to strike the head.

Or you could use a left Thunder to block on the outside of his arm, then use a right Fire to the elbow, or the temple, or drive it upward into the GB20 spot.

I like to strike with the back of the Thunder palm myself. My main art is Taiji, of course, and we use P'eng (the Thunder palm) to strike a lot, as well as block and redirect. In fact, one of the Yang family manuals talks about being struck with P'eng. So if you want to strike with the back of the Thunder palm, by all means do so, there's nothing really wrong with it as long as you don't injure your hand by striking the wrong places.

If you do strike with it, start with the palm flexed a bit the other way, and pop it into the Thunder shape as you thrust it into your target. This will make your strike more powerful.

"I put forth my power and he was broken.
I withdrew my power and he was ground into fine dust."
-Aleister Crowley, The Vision and the Voice

04-02-2001, 09:55 PM
Oddly enough I followed what you said fairly well, despite the inherent risk of confusion in communicating these things through words alone.

I did mean what you called "cloud", but before this I thought of it more as drilling Up (and shooting the elbow out) and not Forward.

From what you said (Of course, you could always use a left Thunder to block a left punch to your face at the inside elbow, then drive it down and pull it to your left, using Water, and then use Thunder or Fire to strike the head.), I wonder if you are turning the hand out (like a bong sau) when you're using the water or thunder? Or are you leading it without grabbing on? ...probably couldn't grab on to be quick enough to make it work.

I appreciate the time you took to respond. I doubt in ten years I'll be on the internet talking to beginners...who knows.

Sam Wiley
04-02-2001, 11:01 PM
I've heard the term Bong Sau, but I can't quite remember what it is exactly. What I am referring to is sort of like in the Wing Chun Chi Sau, where the right arm, for instance, will roll outward and then drill in all in the same motion, except in this case it is the left palm. But in this instance, the left palm is going across to the right, of course, to meet his left arm. It is pretty much following that same arc, though, as the opposite arm in the Wing Chun example.

It should arc to the left and upward to meet his left arm, and then drill inwards towards his neck. Or, if you don't have time to drill in because he's attacking with the other arm or something, you could just sort of drape your hand over his arm and force it down and over to your left with the Water palm. It's not a grab, it's just where you flex your hand to lay it over his arm, and then you push downwards and flex your hand back yin as you turn and strike, and this sweeps his hand the other way. So it's not a grab, really, it's just where you remain in contact and sweep the arm.

Might I suggest using the left Cloud palm to the outside of a right punch, bringing your right Thunder palm up to guard his arm from popping you in the face? Better yet, use your right Thunder first, then the left Cloud palm to drill forward up his arm into his eyes. This will put you on the outside, which is the optimum position from which to attack. You could drill forward from his arm into the temple or eyes while your Thunder palm remains in contact with his arm to guard, then bring the left palm down and use Water to sweep the arm over to your left as your right Thunder palm turns into Fire and slams upwards into the face (I'd go for the nose). This is a Bagua adaptation for a technique from Taiji.

And by the way, I sincerely hope that you will eventually share what you have learned with beginners several years from now. You will have picked up many things by then that will help them out, just as they have helped you out. I try to help when I can. I'm just glad I can contribute something someone finds useful.

Have you thought about your footwork during that move? I can think of several variations that might prove useful.

"I put forth my power and he was broken.
I withdrew my power and he was ground into fine dust."
-Aleister Crowley, The Vision and the Voice

04-02-2001, 11:09 PM
I was going to say, nice little private lesson here.

04-03-2001, 06:29 AM
I mentioned this to a friend of mine and we had a chance to play at it. About the footwork, getting to the outside was a big choice between us. I noticed if his left foot was leading or he was taking a left step forward and he threw hard left punch, after intercepting from the outside of the punch with my left (deflecting it left/ up/ or down): Half step forward plant my left foot inside his, then use my left knee on his and press forward with it bending his in (hooking his neck with the right hand/ drilling with two cloud palms/ bouncing him away with thunder). Or. Swinging the right foot in behind his left foot (while changing the cloud to fire to his face and using the right to smack the back of his head/ sinking your weight on his trapped leg with your own knees together, pinning his down/ bounceing him away). Or. Pull his arm down and left after you've stepped accross with your right (to your left) to do and inside palm change to dump him on the ground like a hip toss (ending with two waters?). Or. Stomp his knee/ shin/ instep with either leg.

We worked the senerios you wrote down and they flowed really well at full speed.

Bong sau is like a thunder or water with the hand turned out, wrist held straight and fingers together. Bong saus can fold in and let pressure slide by, is this true for thunder and water palm, or do they try to use expanding to overcome a force?

Unrelated question:
Is it possible to fajing without any feet on the ground (as in, in the air, lying down, sitting)?

Sam Wiley
04-03-2001, 08:23 PM
There may be times when you must let the force past using those types of blocks, like if the force is overpowering and is just too much for you take on in that manner. Bagua is very flexible in its application of the palms, never demanding that one palm be used in only so many ways. After all, its main theme running throughout that art is change. Besides that, you do what you must to be the last one standing. If you must let the force through in order to maintain control, then by all means do so, as long as it doesn't involve taking the hit. Also, if the force is too much, you have the option of moving around him and his attack yourself instead of trying to redirect it. In a twisted sort of way (and what other ways are there in Bagua?) this is still a redirection, if you consider that you are the center this time and he is on the outside. That way, you move the centerline, and he must turn to take it back, and in that way you are still moving him off the centerline, just as if you had simply redirected his arm.

Also, we never force an application in the Internal arts, so if what you try at first doesn't work, you use the folding principle, or simply move on to something else, and go on to your next attack. Sometimes that is the choice thing to do anyway.

Also, if you want to lead him in by letting the force come on through so that you can do something really nasty to him (like one of the more advanced techniques), then you might let the force through by your own choice.

You also might want to make it appear sometimes like you are letting the force through when you are not letting it through at all.

For examples: Moving yourself around him is easy through simple footwork. You can V step to your left with your left foot while blocking a right punch, then mud step ****her forward (which would put you in one of his rear corners) with your right foot as you strike him in the face, then do an outside turning change and either throw him with the right palm or leave him standing so when you spin around your left strikes him.

Maybe you have struck at him or tried to block a punch, for instance, and he either blocks you or you simply cannot redirect his strike. You simply fold and pop him with something else. Maybe he has thrown a right low punch to your ribs. You block with your left Water palm (looking more like Bong Sau in this instance) and try to strike him in the eyes with Earth. But he blocks it with his left, so you fold your right arm at the elbow a bit and collapse your waist, and slap him in the temple with a right back palm as you bring your left palm up underneath his right arm, and redirect it over to the left (to keep his attention off what your right palm is about to do). You could use whatever change or swivel step feels right to you. If it were a real fight, you would not even think about what your feet do, they would just do it. That's the way it should be.

Letting the force come on in is not quite an accurate phrase. What I mean is leading it in. You're the one in control, so it's leading it in. One example of this might be blocking a right punch with your left palm as you step in with the left foot. The right palm then grabs and pulls down and to the right. From here you have several options: You can jerk the wrist and pressure the elbow to break it or throw him to your right by the arm. Or you can maintain your grip on his wrist and slip the left forearm into his armpit and throw him the other way, whch would mean you pull him down and to the right, and then come back the other way up and to the left, so that his feet keep travelling to your right and he lands on his back. Or you could maintain your grip on his wrist, place your left palm at his elbow, twist the wrist, and thrust it back into his center to throw him that way.

(As you can see from the last one, there are many many things you can do from that one.)

Or you could do something like block a right punch downwards using your left Water palm (across and downwards to your left if it is a high punch), then palm his in the face with your right Fire palm. From here, you snake your right palm around the right side of his neck to the back, and jerk his head down and knee him in the face or throat as you left palm continues its same arc (now travelling up and to your left) to bring his arm up. From here you can go into an arm lock and really start being mean. :D Or you could add an elbow in between the palm to the face and the pull down.

You sound like you are really grasping the Bagua way. If I understood your descriptions right, then they are pretty good. You sound like your footwork is coming along nicely. Just remember to be careful with those knee presses, as you can really hurt your partners knee. The knee only has two little tendons attaching it to the thigh, and knee presses from the outside or inside can easily break them.

For your other question, yes, you can fa-jing without having your feet on the ground. Once you have mastered it you are supposedly able to do it from any position. I myself believe that certain movements are going to be more effective than other in these disadvantageous positions, though, as I have found some movements to be a bit difficult or tricky to execute from sitting, lying down, etc. If you are doing fa-jing correctly, your whole body will shake, and sometimes your feet will actually leave the ground, so it doesn't really matter whether your feet are on the ground or not, because you remain rooted anyway. Rooting is not just having your feet planted, it's an internal energy thing as well.

Keep up the good work, Ion Swamp! :)

"I put forth my power and he was broken.
I withdrew my power and he was ground into fine dust."
-Aleister Crowley, The Vision and the Voice

04-03-2001, 11:51 PM
Nice post, Sam. You really describe well how the principle of change runs through a series of bagua techniques. I almost felt like I was the guy attacking you ;- ).


04-04-2001, 05:55 PM
Points well taken. I appreciate what you've said. (i'm looking forward to working with the ideas you laid out.)

I'm not really working on fajing right now, but I plan on getting into it this spring and summer. Been mostly qigong, sil lum tao, and circle walking during these cold months.

Thanks for the compliment, too. :)